Enchanted Circle Theater receives 2015 Commonwealth Award

Date: 2/20/2015

HOLYOKE – On Jan. 21, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) announced the winners of the 2015 Commonwealth Awards, Massachusetts’ highest honors in the arts, humanities, and sciences.

Enchanted Circle Theater, in partnership with the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, will receive an award in the category of Stem to Steam for collaborating to deepen students’ understanding of science and the arts in the Holyoke Public Schools and elsewhere.

The Commonwealth Awards will be presented Feb. 24 at a State House ceremony.

“Once again the MCC is honored to shine a spotlight on the extraordinary institutions and individuals who make the Commonwealth’s cultural life the envy of our nation,” MCC Executive Director Anita Walker said. “Their achievements remind us that expanding the quality and availability of arts and cultural experiences to our citizens doesn’t happen by accident. It takes leadership, generosity, and a commitment to excellence.”

WGBY Springfield also won in the Media category for placing arts and culture at the core of its television coverage for audiences in Western Massachusetts and beyond.

Presented biennially since 1993, the Commonwealth Awards honor the extraordinary contributions made by the arts, humanities, and sciences to education, economic vitality, and quality of life in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth Awards ceremony also brings leaders from the nonprofit cultural sector together to assert the sector’s value and make the case for public investment in its work.

Past winners include leading artists and scholars such as Yo-Yo Ma, Olympia Dukakis, and David McCullough; world-renowned institutions like Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Peabody Essex Museum; and communities like Pittsfield, Barnstable, and Lowell that have made arts and culture central to their revitalization efforts.

Founded in 1976, Enchanted Circle Theater (ECT) is a nonprofit, educational theater company, which engages, enhances, and inspires learning through the arts. We are the regional leader in the field of arts integration, using theater arts as a dynamic teaching tool in the classroom, on the stage, and in the community.

Enchanted Circle serves an essential need in education today by fostering creativity and bringing the “joy back into learning.”  Our arts integration programs integrate theater arts - theater, dance, music, visual, media and literary arts – with academic and social curricula to improve academic achievement and support the development of social and emotional health. We work in schools, professional theaters, community centers and with health and human service agencies, with people of all ages and abilities.